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Sound Formats

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Technical Statement on Sound Formats

The East Midlands Oral History Archive's preferred format for serving sound to the web is Windows Media Files (.wma). This format has the advantage of being easily compressible to enable rapid download. If you are having problems listening to these files it is likely to be simple to solve by following the instructions below.

First check that:

  1. You have a soundcard.
  2. You have a set of speakers.
  3. Your speakers are plugged in and turned on.

If all of the above is true the solution to your problems is likely to depend on what computer and software you are using. Consult the chart below to discover how to get Windows Media Files to play on your computer.

PC Users

PC users with Windows should find a version of Windows Media Player on their computer. Just click on the extract you want to hear in Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player should open.

If you are having any problems you should install the latest version of Windows Media Player. This is available free from the Microsoft site. Download the player.

Netscape 4

If you installed Netscape after Windows Media Player you will need to install the Windows Media Player Plug-in for Netscape Navigator. Download the plug-in.

Mozilla Firefox

If you are having trouble listening to the sound you may want to look at this guide to embedding Windows Media Player in Firefox:


LANDshapes sound files

Please note that the sound files should work with Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0+ and Netscape Navigator 4+ on platforms that support the Windows Media Player plug-in and ActiveX control.

Mac Users

OS 8.1 and above

Mac users who have Mac OS 8.1 or above will need to download a version of Windows Media Player. This is available free from the Microsoft site. Download the player.

Older Macs

Mac users with older operating systems (c1998 and before) will be unable to install Windows Media Player.

Other Problems

Please email us at emoha@le.ac.uk with details of any problems you are experiencing and we will try to offer advice on how to access our material.


Last updated: 10/11/05
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.